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Local Commentaries

Dems, Your Leaders Are Radicals

The election is closing in, and voters will have to make choices, not only for the presidency of the United States, but also for various senators, representatives, and other officials at the national, state, and local levels. It would be nice if there were clearly good guys and bad guys, but ...

Dems Could Revive A Reagan Tax Reform

Conservatives have every reason to love Ronald Reagan. He cut taxes hugely on high incomes. Once a union leader, he became a ruthless union-buster. He warred endlessly against welfare. But the darling of the Right made one sharp Left. His landmark Tax Reform Act of 1986 called for equal taxes ...

More Engaged, And Tired, Electorate

It used to be that “voting time” meant a day certain, the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Now, with early voting and voting by mail—that time has started already. I have no problem with making voting easier. The average voter turn-out in America in my lifetime has ...

No News Is Good News

The only way anything has ever survived this world was because it was cared for and nurtured. That goes for babies and the Honda sitting in your driveway. It also goes for the sauce you made last Sunday and the flowers you planted in your window box last summer. And so, too, does it apply to ...

President Trump Has Common Touch

ERIE, Pa. - Here and there this campaign season one sees an unusual lawn sign. It appears to be not from a candidate’s campaign but from persons acting independently. It urges voting for a particular presidential candidate. The candidate is President Trump. Yet none of these are ...

To S. Dakota In A ‘Big Rig?’ In My Dreams

I might have enjoyed making my living as a long-haul big-rig truck driver instead of as a journalist — except for the long haul, big-rig 18-wheel tractor-trailer. I relearned that last week during a drive to and from South Dakota, 16 hours out and 18 hours back. Younger daughter Natalie ...

How To Disagree

There is a good country/western song I was listening to on the radio the other day sung by Billy Dean about a couple that has split up but who still want to remain friends. It goes: “There ain’t no good guy, there ain’t no bad guy. There’s only you and me and we just ...

Technology Is A Set Of Tools

For a number of years I have been involved with and advising various people and organizations in several countries in Africa and other parts of the world. The primary reason is because I was using Facebook and posting my writing and other items for a number of years. The technology allowed me ...

This Presidential Election Matters

Let’s pick up where we left off last week. Joe Biden, the Democrats’ 2020 presidential candidate, rightly says he’d be “the most progressive” — read: liberal — president in American history. That understates the point in at least two ways. First, he’d likely be even more ...

Halloween Was Fun There For A While

I have come full circle about Halloween. As a little kid, I hated it. I was scared of going out after dark, wearing a “costume” of one of Dad’s too-large jackets plus a cheap dime-store mask. As a young adult, I enjoyed Halloween. I liked getting the kids dressed up, and accompanying ...

Society Is Better When Assumptions Match Reality

It is amazing to me to contemplate that there are seven and a half billion people in the world, and yet none of them are identical. Even identical twins, though they may share genetic material, cannot live in same body, experience with the same eyes, ears, and other senses, or have the same ...

The Vice-Presidential Debate

Last week, in this space, I criticized the first Presidential debate as being neither a “debate” nor “Presidential.” This week was a bit different. I thought that Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris had a generally civil, though partisan, discussion about the ...

Sunday, It’s A Gift That We Didn’t Know We Needed

There is just something about a Sunday that just does it for me. It’s the comfortable way it greets you with a warm embrace and a hot cup of coffee. The way the air feels on a Sunday is just so much more inviting than a droll Tuesday or finicky Thursday. There’s church to be had, big ...

Flu shot? Yep; COVID Shot? Well, Maybe

What will we do if and when a COVID vaccine becomes available? I do not know whether I will accept such a vaccine. But a brush with pseudo-influenza last month was a sobering reminder that flu and COVID are both killers. I did not actually “have the flu” last month. I did have a ...

The Night The Wheels Came Off

I must admit that I don’t stay up late anymore watching TV. I made an exception to that rule last Tuesday night and watched all 90 minutes of the Presidential debate. It was a sad spectacle, really. It was neither a debate nor Presidential. It was an attack dog event put on by an ...

DOT Fiber Tax Discourages Connectivity Investment

The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the need for reliable and fast internet access in all corners of the state, as connectivity is no longer a mere perk or frill but a veritable necessity of modern life. Prior to the unprecedented public health crisis that forced us to shift so much of ...

The GOP Must Keep Its Promise

Supreme Court nominations matter. That’s because justices have significantly different understandings of the court’s proper role. To oversimplify the matter: ¯ On the one hand we have activist justices, who are inclined to varying extents to base decisions on their own policy ...

RSVP: A French Phrase, And An Important Task

There are many times in our lives when we are invited to attend events sponsored by groups with which we belong, or friends with whom we socialize or work, or even family. It may be a dinner sponsored by the group, or a family or friend wedding, or a birthday, holiday, or company dinner or ...

Musings On The Concept Of Singularity

It’s not a word I can recall ever using. I don’t know why I would. But it popped right up when I needed it. Singular (the definition I was seeking is #2): “unusual or strange; odd; different.” It can also mean more positive things but that’s not what I wanted to use to describe a ...

Disappearing Culture: Places, People

You might remember Paul Prudhomme, that rotund, cheery chef from Louisiana that took the nation by storm in the 1980s and 90s, spreading his love of Cajun cooking by way of his cookbooks and through our television sets. My brother introduced his recipes to our family and for thirty years we ...